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1 Corinthians 12:12 – The body, the Christ!

09-10-2019 - Posted by Andre Piet

For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the one body being may, are one body thus also is the Christ.

In this section Paul explains how the ecclesia is as a body: with its many members it forms an inseparable unity. Paul’s comparison is clear, but the manner in which he makes the above statement is downright surprising. Because the unsuspecting reader would have expected that the comparison with the body would end with: thus also the ecclesia. But it doesn’t end that way, because it says: thus also the Christ!

The surprising thing is that in the midst of his teaching about the diversity within the one ecclesia, Paul puts the spotlight on the identity of the ecclesia. The ecclesia that is the Christ. She is his body. Even in the Ephesian letter, Paul does not go as far in his formulations as here, by calling the ecclesia the Christ.

In the bud that identification of the ecclesia with Christ was already contained in Paul’s calling. Because he persecuted the ecclesia of God, but what did the voice from heaven say to him? “Saul, Saul, what are you persecuting me?” See there: the Christ, that is the ecclesia!